Street photography is a unique genre that allows photographers to capture candid moments of everyday life. A well-composed street photograph can tell a story, evoke emotions, and convey a sense of time and place. But mastering composition in street photography can be challenging.

In this tutorial, we will explore some essential composition tips that will help you capture the perfect moment in street photography. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer looking to improve your skills, these tips will provide you with a solid foundation.

1. Find an Interesting Background

One of the key elements in street photography composition is the background. Look for backgrounds that are visually appealing, clean, and uncluttered. Consider the colors, patterns, and textures that can enhance your subject. A simple wall, a row of buildings, or a graffiti-filled alley can make for interesting backgrounds.

2. Use Leading Lines

Leading lines add depth and guide the viewer’s eye through your photograph. Look for lines in the streets, sidewalks, or architectural elements that can lead to your subject. Experiment with different angles and perspectives to create dynamic compositions.

3. Include Human Element

The human element is what sets street photography apart from other genres. Including people in your frame adds a sense of life and context to your photographs. Look for interesting characters, interactions, and gestures that can tell a story. Sometimes, capturing people from behind or in silhouette can add a sense of mystery.

4. Pay Attention to Framing

Framing is crucial in street photography. It helps draw the viewer’s attention to your subject and creates a sense of balance in the composition. Look for natural frames such as doorways, windows, or arches that can create a visually pleasing composition. Experiment with different perspectives to find unique framing opportunities.

5. Capture Decisive Moments

Henri Cartier-Bresson coined the term ‘decisive moment,’ referring to capturing the perfect moment when everything aligns perfectly. Anticipate moments of action, emotion, or interesting gestures to create impactful photographs. Patience and observation are key in street photography.

6. Experiment with Perspectives

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different perspectives in street photography. Get down low, shoot from above, or try shooting from unconventional angles. Changing your perspective can add an element of surprise and uniqueness to your photographs.

7. Pay Attention to Light

Lighting plays a crucial role in street photography. Pay attention to the direction, quality, and intensity of light. Capture interesting shadows, silhouettes, or dramatic lighting conditions to add visual interest to your photographs.

8. Anticipate and Pre-Focus

Street photography often requires quick reflexes. Anticipate the movement of your subjects and pre-focus your camera accordingly. This will help you capture sharp and in-focus images in the heat of the moment.


Mastering composition in street photography takes time and practice. By following these composition tips, you’ll be able to elevate your street photography and capture compelling moments that tell a story. Remember to experiment, be patient, and always keep your camera ready. Happy shooting!